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Do Disruptive Technologies Require a Disruptive Marketing Strategy?

Updated: Aug 28, 2021

Busting into the market with a disruptive technology is exciting – but it can be a tricky initiative for inexperienced marketers. Google ‘marketing tactics for disruptive technologies’ and you will find 19M indexed results, with many hints implying risky tactics are needed. Many pundits suggest you need to think and act disruptive (marketing strategy) to break into the market with a disruptive technology. But do you, really?

Our approach doesn’t require a wildly disruptive tactic. We prefer ‘wildly disruptive’ as terminology you use to describe the ridiculously fast accumulation of revenue when the masses migrate to your superior offering. Ultimately, you can have some fun with a variety of tactics, however, all tactics should contribute to bolster a more deeply thoughtful go-to-market strategy.

With disruptive technology you are asking the target market to rip and replace – this is a sensitive matter for business leaders – you are requiring change. Change management can be a tall order.

Keep in mind – as you launch your disruptive technology – this is a wave you are literally manufacturing. You are first to market. You need to capture as much of the market share as fast as possible, to ride that wave as long as feasible. Recall, a gazillion years ago, when 3M’s failed adhesive product led to the development of Post-It Notes? Your disruptive technology may dominate as the superior way, for an unknown period of time. But like 3M’s Post-It Note product, competitors are going to come after your market share.


MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION (Select all that apply)

To be successful launching a disruptive technology, you must:

A) Clearly articulate why your offering is different and superior to existing solutions.

B) Have sales people highly skilled at cold calling.

C) Have more features than the existing provider(s) offering(s).

D) Be lower priced than existing provider(s) offering(s).

E) Be established as a recognized technology vendor in the market.

F) Be a different; a unique and superior way that replaces the way things are usually done.

G) All are correct.

H) None are correct.


Disruptive Technology, defined

An innovation that significantly alters the way that consumers, industries, or businesses operate. A disruptive technology sweeps away the systems or habits it replaces because it has attributes that are recognizably superior.

High-profile examples of disruptive technology in recent years:

  • Apple Smart Watch

  • Amazon

  • Drones

  • Trail cameras

What is “disruptive technology”?

  • Deliver the benefits – or more – than existing applications being used today.

  • Deliver in a unique/unmatched way (faster, superior, better, easier, more intuitively, more robust/powerful, etc.).

  • The market players and their market share, is largely established – and you intend on ripping market share away from the establishment.

What are the risks of launching a disruptive technology?

  • Your technology may be a rip and replace solution. This limits its attractiveness to those who are comfortable introducing a degree of change to their operation.

  • You may or may not be known in the market. If unknown, every sales call will be cold.

  • Your funding may or may not be deep.

  • Your bench of industry expertise may or may not be deep.

  • You may or may not have experience marketing and selling disruptive technology.

Pointers for breaking into an established market with a disruptive technology

You are entering an established market, with established habits using an existing technology solution. Your marketing and messaging has to be on point. You’ve got to enlist motivated and highly skilled sales people, experts who are not afraid of a cold call with the skill set to be strategically tactical with C-level executives. Buy-in at the top will drive the change you need to be successful.

3 messaging tips:

  • Core messaging: Clearly articulate - verbally, in writing, and in marketing materials - the value and benefits of your offering.

  • Build and master the ‘Why Change’ story.

  • Build and master the ‘Why Us’ story.

3 marketing tips:

  • Build powerful and persuasive content (i.e., lead magnet, case studies, industry trendline pieces, etc.).

  • Leverage data from EAs - those who match the demographics of your ideal target marketp a detailed Buyer Persona(s) to guide highly customized campaigns.

  • Marketing strategy: You don’t have to be weird and wild. You have to be tactical, targeted, and consistent.

Answer: A, B, and F

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